Hong Kong: Administration of Justice

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 22nd March 2021.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Chinese Government on its proposed reforms of the judicial system in Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is deeply concerned about the situation in Hong Kong and the erosion of rights enshrined under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. As the Foreign Secretary said on 11 March, this is the latest step by Beijing to hollow out the space for democratic debate in Hong Kong, contrary to the promises made by China itself. This can only further undermine confidence and trust in China living up to its international responsibilities and legal obligations, as a leading member of the international community.

On 13 March the Foreign Secretary issued a statement calling a third breach of the Joint Declaration following the decision by the National People's Congress in Beijing to bring in changes to the Hong Kong electoral system. This is the third breach in 9 months and the UK now considers Beijing to be in a state of ongoing non-compliance with the Joint Declaration - a demonstration of the growing gulf between Beijing's promises and its actions. On 12 March the Foreign Secretary also released a joint statement with his G7 counterparts expressing their grave concerns at the continued erosion of rights in Hong Kong.

The UK has raised our concerns with China, including with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Chinese Embassy in London, as have many of our international partners. The Chinese and Hong Kong authorities can be in no doubt about the seriousness of our concerns.

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